Behind the Scenes — The Process

Women's fashion label moodboard of neutral colours and 90s fashion inspiration

Every Petite Femme collection is created with thoughtful consideration and attention to detail. First, we develop a concept and compile a moodboard. We gather all forms of inspiration, taking cues from film and art. We often conduct surveys during this phase to ensure we are meeting the unique needs of petite women. Based on our moodboard and the feedback from our petite community, we start to sketch our designs. Our priority is always to flatter the petite frame so we are meticulous about cut and proportions.

As a slow fashion brand, we release two to three capsule collections per year. From our initial concept, we may conceive up to ten styles which are narrowed down to four or five designs. Once finalised, we work with local makers in Melbourne to develop our initial prototypes. Our designers create technical drawings for each style which are then translated into patterns by our pattern maker. A pattern is a paper template that represents the different pieces of fabric which will be assembled into a finished garment. A separate pattern must be created for each size in the range.

Pattern making is a precise art and is essential to achieving the right fit. To create accurate patterns for petite bodies, we use a petite sizing standard developed by a global company that specialises in 3D body scanning. Using this technology, our patternmaker creates digital prototypes that render our designs in 3D. This enables us to make adjustments to our designs before we create physical prototypes, reducing fabric wastage during the sampling process. 

In the meantime, we start sourcing our fabrics and trims, taking care to prioritise comfort, quality and durability. We prefer to use renewable, naturally derived fibres such as lyocell, cupro, silk and wool. We avoid plastic-based fibres where possible, although elastane is occasionally required in low amounts for stretch and comfort. Once we have finalised our fabric, we obtain a small amount for sampling.

Our sample maker in Melbourne then traces the patterns onto the fabric before cutting and sewing the pieces together. Once the sample is completed, we check the construction and measure the garment to ensure it meets the specifications set out by our pattern maker. We assess the fit of the sample on a petite model and work closely with our pattern maker to make any adjustments. The pattern maker will alter the specifications and create a new set of patterns before we make another sample. Our pattern maker is very experienced so it usually takes no more than three revisions to achieve the perfect fit.  

We then send our designs to our manufacturing partner in Huzhou who produce our collection in small quantities with a high level of efficiency and quality assurance. The factory specialises in high-end women’s tailoring and knitwear, and are skilled in handling luxury eco-textiles such as silk. As a small-scale, BSCI-certified factory, they share our values of quality workmanship and ethical labour practices. Once production is completed, our garments are delivered to Australia using DHL’s GoGreen Climate Neutral shipping service.

After arriving in our studio, we conduct a quality control check of our bulk shipment to ensure that our garments have been made according to our specifications. Before we send them out to our customers, we do one final quality check and steam our garments. Every order is packed in eco-friendly packaging and delivered to your door with carbon neutral delivery. The final result is a high quality, well-fitting garment that we hope you will treasure for years to come.